Regardless of whether you are a tech luddite or a tech guru, technology is here to stay. You can’t escape it, even if you are on the run – quite literally! For some of us, running with a phone can take a bit of getting used to. It doesn’t help that our phones are rapidly starting to resemble laptops these days.
However, fitness apps are a great option for runners who want to track and analyze their performance without committing to the cost of a Garmin or a similar wearable device. There are a variety of apps available for purchase, compatible across different operating platforms. Most of these apps have a free version available, with enhanced features and stats that can be bought additionally. While some apps are very stat-focused, others play up on the social aspect of running and competition. The trick is to choose one suited to your budget, training goals, and personality. Also, don’t forget to get yourself a convenient arm band for your phone.
Now, here’s the lowdown on some of the most popular apps around, to make your choice a bit easier.
Let’s put the best thing about Runkeeper out there – it’s free! Runkeeper can track jogs, runs, cycling sessions, and many other kinds of workouts. It’s fairly feature rich, allowing users to measure their pace, and other stats. Plus, you can share a great workout on Facebook. You don’t need to store all your stats on your phone – stats are also accessible online.
Price – Free
For the social runners amongst you, this is the app to go to. Along with the usual stats, Endomondo lets you stack up your performance against others who have run on the route. There’s also an audio coach and hydration tracker among other features. In fact, you can see the rankings for a particular route. If you are feeling in the mood for a bit of friendly competitive, go for it.
Free, with in-app purchases.
Nike+ combines the best of both worlds – good support for stats and the social component. Nike+ has the biggest global community of users, so there’s plenty of motivation to go around. This app also has fun features like motivational messages from celebrity athletes, cheering from a real life crowd, or activating a workout song. Nike+ sounds like a pretty well-rounded app to us.
Free , with in-app purchases.
3) Zombies, Run!
This one is for the beginners who are still getting used to running, and would like to add some action to their runs. Zombies, Run! gives you a survival plot where you are racing against zombies. For different kinds of runs like interval runs, you get different survival scenarios. This app is not very stat-heavy, so if you are heavily into analyzing runs, this is not for you. However, if you like to add some fun to your run, use this app to plot your escape.
Price – Rs. 122.98
4) Map My Run
The focus of Map My Run is to map your route, save your favorite routes, and to discover new ones around the city. Additionally, the app also tracks calories, distance, and nutrition. The nutrition feature is a great way to track how well you are sticking to a food plan, and correlate how specific meals are impacting your performance.
Price – Rs. 190.34
If you find it too confusing to navigate this world of choice and technology – experiment! Any app that you choose will give you the basic statistical support – it’s more about choosing one whose interface and functionality you are comfortable with.
So, get out there in the realm of social and interactive running, and kick some butt! Remember to keep it competitive, but fun!